BLS Library New Book List

The Brooklyn Law School Library New Book List for April 7 has a number of items worth reading. One in particular, Law on Display: The Digital Transformation of Legal Persuasion and Judgment, by Neal Feigenson and Christina Spiesel both professors at Quinnipiac University School of Law (Call #KF8902.E42 F447 2009), is a study of how visual and multimedia digital technologies are transforming the practice of law and how lawyers construct and argue their cases, present evidence to juries, and communicate with each other. The introduction of the book reads:

Law has traditionally been about words: trial testimony and oral argument, statutes and judicial opinions, negotiations and jury deliberations. Now, as never before, it’s also about pictures displayed on screens: dashboard camera videotapes, digitally enhanced crime scene photos, computer animations, PowerPoint slide shows, and much more. And not just pictures, but multimedia displays combining photographs and videos, drawings and diagrams, the sounds of witnesses’ voices, and, indeed, anything that will help lawyers to present their cases and convince their audiences.

In the book, the authors explain that legal practice has moved from a largely words-only environment to one driven by images. Discussing older visual technologies, such as videotape evidence, the look at current and future uses of visual and multimedia digital technologies, including trial presentation software and interactive multimedia. They also describe how law itself is going online, in the form of virtual courts, cyberjuries, and more, and explore the implications of law’s movement to computer screens. Concurring Opinions has a book review of Law on Display which cites the US Supreme Court decision in Scott v. Harris 127 Sup.Ct 1769 (2007) as the most prominent (though disappointing) instance of a judicial response to new technology where the Court permitted the presentation of video evidence of a high speed pursuit.

The book chapters are The Digital Visual RevolutionThe Rhetoric of the Real: Videotape as EvidenceTeaching the CasePicturing Scientific EvidenceMultimedia ArgumentsInto the Screen: Toward Virtual JudgmentEthics and Justice in the Digital Visual Age. The links are to a supporting website, giving online access to the videotape material discussed in the book.